China-Laos railway project, important milestone in bilateral cooperation strategy: Lao official
2015/12/03

VIENTIANE, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The China-Laos railway project marks an important milestone in socio--economic cooperation strategy of the two countries, said Lattanamany Khounnyvong, Lao Vice Minister of Public Works and Transport on Wednesday.

Lattanamany, who is also China-Laos railway project working group task team leader, made the remarks at a press conference held on the start of China-Laos railway construction.

China-Laos railway project is in line with Laos' strategy to turn from a land-locked country to a land--linked one, and is compatible with the "Belt and Road" initiative proposed by China, said Lattanamany.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the project on Wednesday morning is of great significance, realizing the expectation of Lao people to have a railway system, he said.

He added that the railway project is expected to help promote infrastructure connectivity between Laos and regional countries, and strengthen economic cooperation within China-ASEAN free trade zone.

Laos will closely work with Chinese side to create favorable conditions for construction and to ensure the quality and timetable of the project, said the Lao official.

He also sent his gratitude to Chinese government and people for the supports to the China-Laos railway project.

According to Koung Soukaloun, China-Laos railway construction company's general manager, China-Laos railway has total length of 427.1 km with standard-gauge rail system running through 170 bridges (69 km) and 72 tunnels (183 km). Designed speed for passenger train on the China-Laos railway system is 160 km per hour, while that of the section from northern Vang Vieng to capital Vientiane is 200 km per hour. Speed for cargo train is designated at 120 km per hour.

Meanwhile, Wang Xiaotao, deputy head of the China's National Development and Reform Commission, said through the China-Laos railway cooperation, China hopes Laos can further participate in the "Belt and Road" initiative, carry out win-win cooperation with China in production capacity and strengthen China-Laos comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership of highly mutual trust, help and benefit.

The groundbreaking ceremony of China-Laos railway project was held Wednesday morning in Laos' capital Vientiane.

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